Posts tagged ‘Empowerment’

Teach them NOW!

With 3 weeks of this internship left, I have barely scratched the surface of what this amazing city has to offer. Out of the 11 cities that Lemonade Day is expanding to, I feel like Atlanta has one of the greatest amounts of potential.  There are SO many communities and at risk youth that could truly benefit from the amazing Lemonade Day Program; I am determined to reach them.  But I cannot do it alone.

Let’s look at some facts:

FACT:

Atlanta is the third largest city in the United States, the urban core of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States, it has the nation’s third largest amount of Fortune 500 companies, and over  75% of the nations Fortune 1000 companies.  On top of this all, it has also been named the “Black Enterprise”, or “Black Mecca” of America.  And how can I forget, Forbes ranked Atlanta as one of the top 5 cities/metro areas to run a business.  When we are talking about expanding a program that teaches youth to be business savvy, financially literate, successful entrepreneurs early on in life…is there really a better a place?

FACT:

The importance of encouraging entrepreneurial interests among youth–within families, neighborhoods, and larger communities–strikes at the heart of Black Enterprise Declaration of Financial Empowerment Principle No. 7: to provide access to programs that will educate my children about business and finance. There are plenty of resources available for parents that will help their children learn about business and finance including camps, economics programs, clubs, and associations.

Guess what?  Lemonade Day can be one of those resources!  I have to be honest and tell you, I’m in my junior year of college, and until I interned with this amazing program, I never even IMAGINED being an entrepreneur.  Had I had this mindset earlier on in life, do you know how far ahead in I would be?  Let me give you an example, let’s look at an amazing young entrepreneur  I met through this internship,  Keith J. Davis Jr.  (look him up at keithjdavisjr.com).  Keith has done more in his youth than some have done in their lifetime.  He is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, actor, and model, and is well on his way to being a multi millionaire before he graduates college, and retired by 35. Why? He was exposed to business and entrepreneurship extremely early in life, and was aware that he had endless opportunities and resources.  Did I mention he is 18, and a recent high school graduate?

Lemonade Day is indeed for EVERYONE, but I am extremely determined to reach those at risk, inner city, minority youth that I know will benefit the most from it.  How amazing would it be to expose them to something that lets them know that they can create their own opportunities for success?  How amazing would it be to let them know that they don’t have to settle for where they are in life and that their current circumstances do not have to dictate what they can and cannot do in life? Kids can never learn too early how to grow and manage their money, we want to expose them to this all very early on through Lemonade Day.  Teach them now, why wait?

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I spoke in an earlier blog post about being a village and building a community that cares through Lemonade Day. I am calling all businesses, nonprofits, government, schools, and religious sectors to join together and become that village that empowers kids in Atlanta to run a business, be successful, and give back through Lemonade Day.  Who is in?

Contact me: iman@lemonadeday.org

Visit our site: www.lemonadeday.org

Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/LDayFunAtlanta

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July 22, 2009 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Hello World….

YEEC Founders (L-R): James Smith, Aaron Reid, * Jason Johnson at the "Hello World" Showcase in Atlanta
YEEC Founders (L-R): James Smith, Aaron Reid, * Jason Johnson at the “Hello World” Showcase in Atlanta

I stumbled upon the Young Entrepreneur Empowerment Coalition (YEEC) while researching youth entrepreneurship organizations in Atlanta.  I had actually read about their “Hello World” Showcase event months ago, and seen them pop up in numerous industry blogs, so when I came across them again last week I decided to take a closer look at their organization.  Needless to say, I am impressed.   Aaron Reid, son of music mogul and industry veteran L.A. Reid and singer/songwriter Pebbles, along with James Smith and Jason Johnson have launched something that I believe is on the way to being extraordinary.  These three young men have an entrepreneurial spirit out of this world. 

YEEC is a coalition of young entrepreneurs, actors, producers, artist, models, djs, and musicians united to become the influential agent for social change amongst youth (YEEC.org).  Targeting 14-25 year olds, The Young Entrepreneur empowerment coalition seeks to empower new voices and leaders through activism, financial literacy, and industry mentorship, with a mission to help today’s youth become tomorrow’s successful leaders.  Congratulations to these young men who will work to inspire the next generation of successful and prosperous industry moguls and entrepreneurs! So sad I missed the “Hello World” Launch, I am definitely going to try and attend an even next time I’m in Atlanta.

So…what does this have to do with Lemonade Day?  Well, just as YEEC is hoping to inspire new age entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry with participation of the entire hip hop community, Lemonade Day is sweeping the nation by inspiring an entire generation of children to be entrepreneurs with help from their communities.  Everyone has a role in Lemonade Day, whether it is through selling lemonade, buying lemonade, volunteering, or advocacy. 

Children are trained in the fundamentals of business and financial management, learn to set goals, develop a business plan, establish a budget, seek investors, provide customer service, and give back to the community…all through something as simple as running their very own lemonade stand.  In all honesty, you just can’t beat that…..

As we begin to actually have more and more contact with supporters, potential sponsors, partners and etc. in our perspective cities, you can truly feel the enthusiasm and buzz throughout the office. Everyone gets a boost from knowing that our excitement is spreading to others who hear about our amazing program.  We are far from being finished, but we are so pumped about seeing things gradually fall into place.  It is evident early on that when Lemonade Day comes to fruition in each of our cities, we are making sure that it will be a HUGE success. 

Every day that I come into the office my excitement builds. Often times when I leave the office my work follows me home, but I can honestly say I don’t mind.  At the end of a very busy day, I know I’m truly making a difference.  GET EXCITED ATLANTA! Let’s get ready to encourage a new generation of kid entrepreneurs in your city!  After all…Forbes did rank Atlanta one of the top 5 cities/metro areas to launch a business.  I predict thousands of new businesses on May 2, 2010. =)

*Feel free to contact me at iman@prepared4life.org with any questions, suggestions, or concerns.  Don’t forget to follow me and Lemonade Day Atlanta’s progress on Twitter!  Twitter.com/LDayFunAtlanta

June 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment


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